UT Book Club: The Forgotten Home Child, by Genevieve Graham

Next week, the University of Toronto alumni virtual book club will present local author Kerry Clare interviewing Genevieve Graham, author of ‘The Forgotten Home Child’.

The Forgotten Home Child is historical fiction, very much grounded in the actual history of ‘home children’ who were plucked off the streets of London and shipped to Canada to meet the labour needs of the growing country.

Home children experienced abuse – physical, emotional, sexual. The scheme painted Canada as a savior for destitute children. The reality was Canada was complicit in these abuses.

In the early 80’s, my mom introduced me to a book called “The Little Immigrants: The Orphans who came to Canada” by Kenneth Bagnell. Bagnell’s book is a non-fiction record of the child emigration scheme. It was an early influence on my thinking about child rights.

Taking ostensibly poor, vulnerable and needy children from their homes to serve the needs of others (prospective parents) was an underlying theme of my research on international adoption policy.

I’m glad to feature Graham’s book and the UT event. I hope it sheds more light on the experiences that home children had and further exposes Canada’s role in their exploitation. I look forward to the UT Virtual Book Club discussion on Tuesday, March 16th at 7pm. See you there?

Related links:

British Home Children

British Home Children Registry

Government of Canada early Immigration Records